South Korea's LG Group said on Monday it is boosting 2011 investment by 12 percent to a record $18.2 billion, as it seeks to revive the struggling handset business of its core unit LG Electronics Inc.

The spending plan is the latest attempt by the country's fourth-largest business conglomerate to turn around its loss-making handset business and strengthen competitiveness, especially in TVs and display segment.

The group replaced LG Electronics chief executive with a founding family member in September and introduced new heads in handsets and TV divisions later, as the firm, also the world's No.2 TV maker, reported record operating losses in the July-September quarter.

It has since introduced a series of smartphone models and sold 2 million units of Optimus One smartphone since its October launch, its most successful smartphone model so far.

The focus for 2011 will be bolstering our core businesses of smartphones, tablets, TVs and large-sized displays and also supporting new growth engines such as solar cell, new types of displays and small-sized display panels for smartphones and tablets, the group said in a statement.

LG's electronics units will spend the lion's share of 14.2 trillion won ($12.29 billion) out of the group's total 21 trillion won investment.

The group has LG Electronics, the world's No.2 LCD display manufacturer LG Display, and LG Innotek as its core electronics units.

(Reporting by Miyoung Kim; Editing by Jacqueline Wong and Muralikumar Anantharaman)